"Liaocheng City" Liaocheng by Adam-Yu
Liaocheng Travel Guide: 2 reviews and 14 photos
Liaocheng City,also called Water City in North China, is located in the north west of Shandong Province, to the north bank of the Yellow River. It is as central city in the border land area of 3 provinces - Shandong, Hebei and Henan. The population in Liaocheng is 6,352,400 (until 2008) and the area is 8,590 s km.
The name of Liao Cheng comes from Liao River which was in the current Liaocheng area around 2500 years ago. And at that time, there was a little state here called Liao. So now this area is called Liao Cheng (Cheng means "city").
The history of Liaocheng is very long. Inside Liaocheng area, we have found 100 Longshan Culture Ruins - which is dated back to 6000 or 7000 years ago. Among it, there is a very big primitive site which was thought as the capital city for the current middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River at that time.
In 608 when Emperor Suiyang built up the Grand Canal, Linqing Town(which is located in the current Liaocheng area - around 60km to the nouth of Liaocheng Proper) has became a key traffic hub along the canal. After the Grand Canal being cut off and the direct canal between Beijing and Hangzhou being built up between 1281 and 1293 in Yuan Dynasty, Liaocheng has been keeping booming. Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasty (1616-1912) is the golden period and prime time for Liaocheng because of the Canal Transportation. It is because only after the Nanwang Water Contral Project being built up (this water contral project is in Jining area - to the south of Yellow River and solved the water shortage problem in canal) in 1411 in the early Ming Dynasty, the canal can play its due role.
The speciality of Liaocheng is: the old city of Liaocheng is in the middle of Dongchang Lake. This lake is a man made lake with the area of 4.2 skm. It is only a little smaller than the West Lake in Hanghzou. The West Lake in Hangzhou is 5.66 skm. Viewing the from the bank of Dongchang Lake, the city is like floating on the water! It is very rare to have such a big lake in the north China.
The building of the Dongchang Lake began from 1070 in Song Dynasty. In order to build the city, laborers take the clay fromthe land around the city, gradually such a big lake being build up.
The old city of Liaocheng is in square shape and only 1 s km large. In the middle of it is the Guangyue Tower. The main structure of this tower was built in 1374. It is the landmark of the old Liaocheng City, and it is one of the 3 most famous towers in China (another 2 towers are Yueyang Tower in Yueyang City and Huanghe Tower - means Yellow Crane Tower in Wuhan City.). It is the biggest tower building built in Ming Dynasty in China. This tower is the representitive masterpiece during the transition period from Song and Yuan Dynasty style to Ming and Qing Dynasty style. It is with the important position in the ancient Chinese building history. At first it serves as a watching tower to watch the posible enemies. Then because it is very safe in this area, this tower became a sightseeing tower.
This tower is 33m high, the side length is 34.5m. The stone base of it is 9m high. The main building is 4 floors with 112 steps, 192 collumns and over 200 corbel brackets.
There were many wharves along the Grand Canal in Liaocheng. But now only the Small Wharf and Big Wharf are still with some sites left. The Big Wharf is 17.5m long and 5.8 wide. It is the government wharf. Small Wharf is located around 300m to the north of Big Wharf. It is a Businessmen wharf.
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